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Present a Common Front to get Recognition, NPA tells Shipowners



Present a Common Front to get Recognition, NPA tells Shipowners

L-R: Member, Steering Committee, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Captain Taiwo Akinpelumi; Member, Steering Committee, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Engr. Josiah Wasa; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko; Chairman, Steering Committee, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Prince Sunday Omatseye; Member, Steering Committee, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Ayorinde Adedoyin., Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA),

The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko has charged members of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) to present a strong common front that the government can reckon with.

Bello-Koko said this when the steering committee of NISA paid him a courtesy visit while pledging the Authority’s commitment to maintain the existing concessions that were supposed to be enjoyed by shipowners.

Addressing an observation bothering on the training of seafarers which was raised by one of the members of the Association, Engr. Josiah Wasa, the Managing Director, shared his experience when he and his team visited Athens, Greece where he met with the minister who expressed his view of Nigeria seafarers not having the opportunity to carry out their sea time experience onboard vessel on time.

In addition, he noted that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in his bid to reinstate the opportunities which should be enjoyed by the shipowners, has directed that Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) especially, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should not allow foreign vessels into the country again.

He also charged them to make use of the Cabotage law which gives shipowners an edge over foreign vessels calling at the country.

“You are welcome to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and thank you for your congratulatory messages.

“In the past few weeks, we were in a meeting in Athens, Greece being the country with the highest number of ships in the world.

And what the Minister and other people kept talking about there was the provision of sea time for our seafarers who have graduated from MAN, Oron, and other maritime academies.

“What they said in Greece is that the problem was not what school or whatever the seafarers attended. But first of all, are the schools accredited by international agencies like International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other international agencies?

“So the first thing is that whatever training we are giving these seafarers must be from accredited institutions. And it is until these seafarers are trained by accredited institutions, that is when Greece would look at the possibility of providing sea time training for Nigerians.

“As an association, I think you also need to look at that.

NIMASA came forward being majorly in charge of financing training, however, you can partner as well.

“And at the meeting, what we kept emphasizing was that there is a huge gap in terms of participation of Nigerians. That is a major employment opportunity that Nigeria has missed.

Yes, the reason might be that we don’t have many vessels flying Nigerian flags and that gap needs to be closed and what does the law say?

“The law says for one to own a shipping line or whatever, 60% of it must be owned by Nigeria and we are thinking why not amend the thing to 10 or 20 percent because Nigerians are not able to bring the 60% up till now for financial reasons and other limitations.

“But probably because everybody has not come together and that’s why we encourage you the Association to do the best you can to bring people together, pull funds together and have funds that would enable them to get further facilities from other banks too to float their vessels. Shipping is not cheap, even if you charter.

“And the Minister of Transportation has been saying that Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) should not be allowed especially NNPC to bring foreign vessels.

The law says if it’s Nigerians that have the vessels, they have some benefits to gain.

“The matter has got to National Assembly and the association needs to also follow it up.

“Meanwhile, it is not about saying you must give us the opportunities, the question is, do you have the vessels? Do you have the capacity? Do you have the strength? Do you have the technical know-how? Do you have a relationship with people outside the country? If you are able to do that, it shows all of a sudden, there would be tens of thousands of opportunities to employ Nigerians.

And that’s why training in accredited institutions should be prioritised; but unfortunately, most people are actually scared of going for the training.

“This is because they are contemplating whether there would be jobs after the rigorous training.

We have so many seafarers out there who are done with the training but no sea time experience.

“NPA would work with you to assist in that aspect of training seafarers.

We have a training school that is basically training more of our pilots.

And we have written to NIMASA to get accreditation for other courses there.

The whole complex which was abandoned has been rehabilitated and we can train up to 150 persons at a go.

There’s a cafeteria there and we are working seriously to advance its courses.

However, for now, we are concentrating on training our own staff and a few other agencies have shown interest and started sending their members to us.

“You need to take advantage of the cabotage law.

That’s really important.

“That law gives a lot of opportunities and it also limits the participation of foreign companies and nationals in doing business.

Now, you have the law that gives the powers of what you should do in terms of funding.

That’s why I keep saying you need to put force together; you need to have a strong front.

“Whatever concessions that are being given to ships flying Nigeria flag would remain.

But those concessions should be noted that they are given to encourage.

And the concession we are giving does not trickle down to the user of your service.

That means you are charging as much as others are charging.

And if that is the case, what’s the essence of giving you those concessions.

You understand, but whatever concession has been given by NPA, we don’t intend to remove it.

We review them and see if they are still existing. And if they are not, we’ll fix it.

“For the NIMAREX, we’ll be interested; we’ll support you in any way we can.


You are stakeholders in the maritime industry just as we are.

Your success in that is also our priority which shows that we are also achieving our mandate,” Bello Koko further assured.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Steering Committee, NISA, Prince Sunday Omatseye appreciated the continual support the association had enjoyed from the authority during its previous existence while seeking all the required support from the agency.

“We are the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) and we’ve been in existence for quite some time.

In short, NISA comprises Nigerians who own vessels, tugboats, tankers operating in the Nigerian waters.

“We always sit down with the government to see how we can go forward in the Industry.

But due to one or two reasons, we’ve been out of the system for quite some time now.

“But we want to assure you that we are back and we are back with full force.

A Steering Committee has been set up which I happen to be its chairman.

It is expected to last for six months after which an election would be conducted in the association.

“So, The reason why we are here today is actually to introduce ourselves and to tell you that we are back and we are ready to work with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

“Actually, before now Nigerian shipowners normally have some concessions.

For instance, the port charges were given like 30%, and also Nigerian ships are allowed to come in immediately they come, unlike foreign vessels that might be kept waiting for a while.

There were some priorities given to Nigerian Shipowners.

“These are what we are still going to come back and discuss to see how we can move ahead.

NPA usually plays a very important role in our industry with the shipowners too,” Prince Omatseye pointed out.


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MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People’s Love for Selfless Service



MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People's Love for Selfless Service

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has congratulated His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on his re-election as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

 President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju felicitated with the governor, noting that Sanwo-Olu’s victory is well deserved, following his focused selfless service.

According to the President General, the victory is a clear testimony of the love showered on the governor as the Chief Executive of the state by the people of Lagos State.

Prince Adeyanju promised the commitment of the union to making the seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

In his words: “The Lagos State election which was keenly contested for, left Governor Sanwo-Olu winning the election on a very wide margin; this which gave him an edge over other contestants was a clear testimony of love showered on him as the Chief Executive of the state by the people.

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria wish to felicitate with the amiable Lagos State Governor on his well-deserved victory during the poll in the state. The President-General of the Union, Comrade Adeyanju has promised the Governor of the Union’s commitment towards making the nation’s seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

“On behalf of my executives, I wish to express our profound readiness to work and synergies with the Governor in all areas of the Maritime Industry towards achieving the best of economic values for the state and the nation at large. On this note, we say congratulation, Governor Sanwo-Olu!”

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Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters



Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters

 Gov. of Ademola Adeleke of Osun has congratulated his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, on his re-election in the March 18 governorship poll.

He gave the congratulatory message in a statement on Monday in Osogbo.

He described the outcome of the election as a strong vote of confidence in the performance of Makinde in the last four years.

He added that “I congratulate my brother, Governor Seyi Makinde on his re-election at the polls.

“Residents of Oyo State have reaffirmed their faith and confidence in his performance.

“They have confirmed the rapid development of Oyo State under the able leadership of my brother, Seyi Makinde.

“On behalf of the people and government of Osun State, I extend warm felicitation to Gov. Makinde.

“I look forward to years of partnership and collaboration between our two states on inter-state infrastructure development, among others.”

Adeleke also described Oyo and Osun states as siamese twins, calling for closer partnership in economic and social affairs.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Makinde the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State.

Makinde had 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 256,685 votes.

In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has congratulated Gov. Seyi Makinde on his victory in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

Folarin’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.

 Makinde, of People Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling 568,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Folarin who scored 256,685.

Folarin, while congratulating Makinde, expressed appreciation to the electorate in the state for their support to APC candidates in the just-concluded general elections.

He also expressed gratitude to God for preserving the lives of the people throughout the electioneering process and to his friends and political allies for their overwhelming support.

He commended members of the 2023 Oyo State APC Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council for their issue-based campaigns, loyalty, dedication and commitment to the struggle.

“My gratitude also goes to the coalition parties, candidates of other political parties, volunteers, the press and individuals that contributed to the ‘Itesiwaju Ipinle Oyo 2023’ project,” he said.

The APC governorship candidate, however, appealed to party members and support groups to remain calm, as the results of the election were being studied.

“It is God that gives and takes power. May Oyo State and our people continue to prosper,” he said.

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Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations



Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations

Four maritime women associations which jointly organized a summit where they canvassed for gender parity in the maritime sector and encouraged more women’s contributions to technological advancement in the digital space have agreed to form a single association to advance their cause.

The four associations are: Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigerian chapter, Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), Nigerian chapter and Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN).

The summit, which was part of activities to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), was anchored on the IWD 2023 theme; ‘Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

Speaking at the event, the WISTA-Nigeria President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke noted that as separate groups their impact have been fragmented while they have also been unable to get requisite support from the federal government in attending crucial regional and international conferences.

Her words: “One of the high points for the collaboration was the inability to get financial support especially in attending international conferences. It is at global meetings that we can network with other women and major global operators. When one intends to contest for regional or international positions, one would need to know women in maritime in other countries to get their buy-in. The federal government hasn’t been giving us the support to attend international conferences.”

“We explained this to the Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani at a recent meeting and it was at that point she informed us that there has been no budgetary provision for women at the Ministry for some years. She encouraged us to start sourcing funds. We, however, have examples of other African countries where the women were backed fully for these activities.”

Stressing that government support mustn’t always be financial support, Ezeoke stated that there could be a sort of moral support by recognizing women groups among stakeholders such that shipping companies, terminal operators, NLNG, and oil firms are inclined to take up the financial support to enable women achieve the advocacy dreams.

In her own submission, the President of WIMOWCA Nigeria, Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore opined that the removal of women budgetary provisions from the Transport Ministry underscored the Importance of getting more women into key leadership positions where such decisions are taken.

Edodo-Emore, who is also Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, expressed delight at the utilizing of technology to address the challenges of artisanal fishers who get better fees for their products and are better equipped to preserve them on account of several innovations.

“With this partnership, women are better placed to access funding for women’s education and training. We are all excited and we believe that we are set to begin reaping the benefits of this partnership. As regards fishing, it’s important that we bring technology into the fishing industry.

“The process of catching the fishes, preservation, storage, among other processes have evolved with technology. We need to sensitize and equip the industry, especially artisanal fishers,” she said.

Speaking, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President of WIMA Nigeria, said that success has no gender even as she encouraged women to seek to be the best at what they do such that it becomes difficult to be marginalized.

“When you strive to bring out your value and worth by your doggedness, innovation, skills and humility; at this point, if you’re being marginalized there is something to shout and fight about. Nevertheless, a lot of organizations have an unwritten law or position that prevented women from rising to Directors or head of the agency. At such organizations, we have observed that gradually women have been emerging as Directors, heads of units and sometimes head of the agency. It is a gradual process and it will keep getting better,” Macfoy said.

She was optimistic that with the Women in Maritime Network operating, by the end of the year, women will make strides like the force of gravity as more women will also be given a voice and attention.

A cadet under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), Ms Peace Moulders, said that innovation and technology would play a critical role in addressing the world challenges from climate change to healthcare and others.

Moulders, however, stressed that it is not enough to simply wait for the technology to emerge, advising women to actively embrace and promote them to drive positive change.

“A call for action for individuals and organisations is to foster a culture of innovation by encouraging risk-taking, investing in research and development, promoting ethical considerations and advocating for policy changes. Government and organisation should remove barriers to innovation because by embracing them there would be a better future for the girls, and communities,” she said.

Other participants at the event are the Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Head of Nigerian Ship Registry at NIMASA, Mrs. Nneka Obianyor; Treasurer, WISTA Nigeria and Deputy Director, Revenue at NIMASA, Dr. (Mrs) Odunayo Ani; among others.

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